Pirates, Prisons and Playmates – Rediscovering ‘The Muthers’ (Philippines 1976 – 83 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 30, 2015

A decent low-budget effort from the grimy Seventies, the Filipino frolic ‘The Muthers’ is a fun watch for the exploitation fan. Yes it’s sloppy in places and has some dodgy acting, but the one-time-only casting of its three attractive leading ladies sets this one apart from the countless others.

A gang of modern-day pirates led by the plucky Kelly (Jeannie Bell) and serious-looking Anggie (Rosanne Katon) infiltrate an isolated island slammer in order to rescue Kelly’s kidnapped sister. With both Kelly and Anggie inside the prison, they have to contend with lustful wardens and lecherous guards before learning that her sister …

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Camp, Cults & Dr Cyclops – Albert Dekker (1905–1968)

Rewind ‐ April 27, 2015

A hugely talented character actor from the ‘old school’, genre-crossing Albert Dekker is today mostly remembered more for one of the most bizarre deaths in Hollywood history than for his natural acting chops. Often seen as a doctor or sinister villain, he could be menacing, funny, or on rare occasions, even romantic.

Born in New York on December 20th 1905, Dekker was acting on the stage by 1927 and made his screen debut ten years later in the Olivia de Havilland starrer ‘The Great Garrick’ (’37). After playing King Louis XIII in James Whale’s ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’, he …

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“Rest in Pieces” – Rediscovering ‘Asylum’ (UK 1972 – 88 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 23, 2015

A very entertaining chiller, the excellent horror anthology ‘Asylum’ makes for perfect late-night viewing. With a terrific atmosphere and splendidly acted by a well-known cast, it briskly and seamlessly moves from one chilling tale to the next, before we witness one final (and surprising) twist.

To test the mettle of new arrival Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) at Dunsmoor mental asylum, the young medic is set the challenge of determining which patient is the psychiatrist Dr. Starr, who has recently become a patient himself after attacking a fellow doctor. As Dr. Martin interviews four inmates, we flash back to witness the chilling …

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Changing Rooms – Rediscovering ‘So Long at the Fair’ (UK 1950 – 86 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 16, 2015

An excellent thriller with a central plot that grabs and holds you throughout, ‘So Long at the Fair’ is to me the perfect mystery, and one that more than holds its own against greater known pictures such as ‘The Lady Vanishes’ (’38) and ‘Bunny Lake is Missing’ (’65).

Young Vicky Barton (Jean Simmons) and her brother Johnny (David Tomlinson) travel to Paris to see the 1889 World’s Fair. After checking into a hotel and visiting the Moulin Rouge, Vicky goes back to her room leaving Johnny to enjoy a late-night drink. The following morning Vicky goes to Johnny’s room but instead …

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Unwanted Tenants – Rediscovering ‘The Evictors’ (US 1979 – 92 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 13, 2015

A diverting little sleeper supposedly based on a true incident, ‘The Evictors’ is a moody rural thriller that perfectly captures the era and builds to an exciting climax (or two).

Louisiana 1942. Soon after moving into an old rented property with a dodgy history, Ruth and Ben Watkins (Jessica Harper and Michael Parks) receive a mysterious hand-written note saying “I want you to leave”. When they learn that all the previous occupants have met with mysterious deaths, Ruth becomes convinced that they’ll be next, especially after seeing a strange figure at the window one night.

Although ‘The Evictors’ is leisurely paced, …

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Fine Young Cannibal – Rediscovering ‘Der Fan’ / ‘Trance’ (West Germany 1982 – 92 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 09, 2015

There haven’t been many movies that I’ve watched where at the end I find myself thinking “Well, I wasn’t expecting that!” The last moments of Carl Reiner’s 1970 jet-black comedy ‘Where’s Poppa?’ was one of them and, to an even greater degree, the 1982 German movie ‘Der Fan’. I thought it was going to be the age-old tale of a fan stalking their idol, with lurid consequences. This movie certainly had consequences, just not quite the ones I expected.

Unhappy teenager Simone (Désirée Nosbusch) idolizes new pop sensation R (Bobo Staiger) and spends her days dreaming of him while waiting for …

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Nosy Neighbours & Busy Busybodies – Estelle Winwood (1883–1984)

Rewind ‐ April 08, 2015

A wonderful stage actress and later character performer who specialized in dotty busybodies, Estelle Winwood’s first love was the stage, where she would spend the first twenty years of her career before gaining her first movie appearance.

Born in Kent, England, on January 24th 1883, Estelle was acting in London’s West End before moving to New York in 1916 where she made her Broadway debut. The next two decades were spent commuting between London and New York where Estelle excelled in theatre, appearing in many popular productions including ‘Moliere’ (1919), ‘The Tyranny of Love’ (1921), ‘ The Taming of the Shrew’ …

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Brief Encounter – Rediscovering ‘Witness in the Dark’ (UK 1959 – 59 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 05, 2015

In the 1950’s the UK churned out dozens of low budget second features, often featuring lesser-known actors and cheap sets. Many of these filler films were watchable at best, but as most of them ran for little more than an hour they were fairly easy to tolerate. Some of these movies though were actually very good, and one that stands out for me is the rather obscure 1959 thriller ‘Witness in the Dark’, a pretty standard picture but featuring a terrific central performance.

After a burglar (Nigel Green) kills an old lady in her flat, he encounters a young woman; …

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False Imprisonment – Rediscovering ‘Interrogation’ / Przesluchanie (Poland 1982 – 118 mins)

Rediscover ‐ April 01, 2015
False Imprisonment – Rediscovering ‘Interrogation’ / Przesluchanie (Poland 1982 – 118 mins)

Banned in its native country and having to wait 7 years before finally being released, the immensely powerful and sometimes disturbing Polish drama ‘Interrogation’ is a film that’s hard to forget, telling the story of a determined person who refuses to give in to the system, even when all hope is gone.

Cabaret singer Tonia (Krystyna Janda) is arrested by the secret police and thrown into a military prison after performing for local soldiers one night. Refusing to sign a confession which would incriminate a former lover, who is now a political prisoner, Tonia is subjected to a brutal regime of …

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Brotherly Love – Rediscovering ‘Summerfield’ (Australia 1977 – 95 mins)

Rediscover ‐ March 26, 2015

A haunting tale of family secrets, the criminally neglected Australian picture ‘Summerfield’ was unfairly slated by critics at the time, but has quite rightly acquired a loyal following in the intervening years. Although it’s rather slow moving at times, I think it’s a stunning looking movie with a central mystery that maybe isn’t a mystery after all.

A new teacher; Simon Robinson (Nick Tate); arrives at the quiet seaside town of Bannings Beach to take over from the previous teacher who has mysteriously vanished without much concern from the authorities. One of the pupils, Sally Abbott (Michelle Jarman) befriends Simon and …

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